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Preparing for the super changes

Tighter superannuation rules will apply from 1 July 2017 as part of the super reforms announced in last year’s Federal Budget.

The new rules include the introduction of a $1.6 million super balance cap for after-tax contributions; a maximum of up to $25,000 for concessional contributions; and the removal of the current “bring-forward” rule allowing $540,000 of contributions in one year.

Although the new rules will come into effect from 1 July 2017, individuals can take advantage of the current rules to top up their nest egg.

Individuals under 65 who wish to make a large contribution, in particular, those with inheritances or who have recently sold a property or other large asset can make the most of this last-chance opportunity to contribute up to $540,000 until 30 June.

From 1 July 2017, individuals will only be able to bring forward up to three year’s worth of after-tax contributions, i.e $300,000 over three years.

The bring forward rule can not be accessed by those aged between 65 and 74 who meet the work test, however, they can still make annual after-tax contributions.

Those with balances in excess of the $1.6 million cap will need to review their super before 30 June to continue to make after-tax contributions. Furthermore, individuals with a balance close to $1.6 million will only be able to bring forward the annual cap amount for the number of years that would take your balance to $1.6 million.

Posted on 8 February '17 by , under Super.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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